New technologies provided proof of how Asian fauna got introduced to Africa. Domestic chickens and black rats from Asia made their first entry to the east coast of Africa through maritime trade routes. They were introduced between the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE on August 17, 2017.
The research was conducted by a team of researchers which was led by Director Nicole Boivin of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. They used various new techniques to analyze ancient DNA and proteins out from 496 bone samples from 22 islands, coastal and inland sites in eastern Africa. Open –air island port sites provided earliest samples of chickens and rats. It suggested that the animals were introduced by traders. The traders who were engaged in robust Indian Ocean maritime trade were responsible for introducing animals. The medieval periods (7th-15th century AD) marked a heavy maritime trade between the Swahili coast and other areas of the Indian Ocean.
By: Bhavna Sharma